Psychedelic Rock is Making a Comeback

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Psychedelic rock is making a comeback and we couldn’t be more excited. Here’s a look at some of the best new psychedelic rock bands that are leading the charge.

The History of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also known as psychedelia, is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the 1960s. Psychedelic rock is characterized by distorted guitars, mind-altering lyrics, and trippy sound effects. The genre is heavily influenced by psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, and is often associated with the counterculture of the 1960s.

The Origins of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as acid rock or simply psyrock, is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what was then known as proto-punk music, psychedelic rock acquired its name from the hallucinogenic drugs that were often used by its performers and fans.

Psychedelic rock reached its commercial and critical peak in the last years of the decade, with landmark recordings by the Doors, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, Jeff Beck Group, Vanilla Fudge, and Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin. The genre did not achieve widespread popularity outside of North America and Britain until the 1970s, when it began to be increasingly influenced by electronic music and punk rock.

The British Invasion

The British Invasion of the 1960s brought many new bands and styles to the United States, including the Beatles and their ushered in a new era of psychedelic rock. The Beatles’ first trip to America in 1964 coincided with the beginning of the “British Invasion” which saw a wave of British bands achieving mainstream success in the US. The band’s use of LSD, combined with their experimental approach to music, helped to popularize psychedelic rock and set the stage for the genre’s explosion in popularity in the late 1960s.

The Beatles’ influence on psychedelic rock was two-fold. Firstly, their use of LSD inspired other artists to experiment with mind-altering drugs as a way to enhance their creativity. Secondly, The Beatles were not afraid to experiment with different musical styles and sounds, which led other bands to push boundaries and explore new sonic territory.

The Rolling Stones were another British band who played a pivotal role in the development of psychedelic rock. The Stones’ style was heavier and more blues-based than that of The Beatles, but they also incorporated elements of psychedelia into their music. The band’s 1966 album Aftermath featured the song “Paint It, Black”, which is considered one of the first psychedelic rock songs.

The Doors were an American band who were heavily influenced by both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The Doors incorporated elements of psychedelia, jazz, and classical music into their unique sound. The band’s 1967 debut album, The Doors , is considered one of the greatest debut albums ever released, and it includes two of the most iconic psychedelic rock songs: “Break On Through (To the Other Side)” and “Light My Fire”.

Psychedelic rock reached its peak of popularity in the late 1960s with bands like Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Iron Butterfly,and Sly & Family Stone all releasing groundbreaking albums that would help define the genre.

The Summer of Love

It all started in the Summer of Love, 1967. Young people from all over the world converged on San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district to celebrate peace and love. The music of the time reflected this spirit of freedom and experimentation, with artists like The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and The Doors pushing the boundaries of what rock music could be. This was also the time when psychedelic drugs like LSD were first becoming widely available, and many people believe that the music of this era was heavily influenced by those experiences.

Psychedelic rock continued to be popular in the 1970s, with bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Queen incorporating elements of psychedelia into their own unique sounds. However, by the end of the decade, punk rock was on the rise and psychedelia fell out of favor. It would not be until the 1990s that psychedelic rock would make a comeback, thanks in part to bands like The Flaming Lips and Radiohead who were inspired by the music of the 60s and 70s.

The Resurgence of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also known as acid rock, is making a comeback after falling out of popularity in the 1970s. This genre of music is characterized by its trippy, mind-altering soundscapes.Psychedelic rock was heavily influential in the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

The New Psychedelia

A new generation of Psychedelic Rock bands are bringing the genre back to the mainstream. With a focus on heavily reverbed guitars, mind-bending song structures and dreamlike lyrics, these bands are conjuring up the spirit of the 60s while creating something entirely new.

Leading the charge is Tame Impala, whose 2010 debut album Innerspeaker was an instant classic. The band has since followed up with two more excellent records, Lonerism and Currents, cementing their place as one of the most exciting bands in rock today. Other notable names in the scene include Melody’s Echo Chamber, Thee Oh Sees, Pond and Allah-Las.

If you’re looking to get into Psychedelic Rock, there’s never been a better time. The genre is enjoying a huge renaissance, and there’s plenty of great music to explore.

The Neo-Psychedelia Movement

The resurgence of psychedelic rock, or “neo-psychedelia” has been occurring since the late 1990s. Bands such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, BLONDE REDHEAD, and The Dandy Warhols have all been credited with helping to revive the genre.

The neo-psychedelia movement is often seen as a reaction against the grunge and punk rock of the early 1990s. Psychedelic rock emphasizes songcraft and extended improvisation, which are both qualities that are often lacking in grunge and punk.

Despite its name, neo-psychedelia is not simply a revival of the original psychedelic rock of the 1960s. Many neo-psychedelic bands incorporate elements of other genres, such as shoegaze, garage rock, and even electronic music.

The neo-psychedelia movement is still going strong today, with new bands continuing to emerge and gain popularity. If you’re a fan of psychedelic rock, be sure to check out some of the leading acts of the neo-psychedelia movement!

The Modern Psychedelic Rock Scene

Psychedelic rock is making a comeback in the 21st century. New bands are taking inspiration from the classic sounds of the 60s and 70s, and infusing them with fresh energy and new ideas.

The modern psychedelic rock scene has its roots in the early 2000s, when bands like The Strokes and The White Stripes invigorated the music world with their raw, garage rock sound. These bands paved the way for a new generation of musicians to experiment with classic psychedelic rock tropes.

In the 2010s, we’ve seen a resurgence of psychedelic rock, with bands like Tame Impala, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, and MGMT pushing boundaries and expanding the genre. These bands have brought psychedelic rock to a new audience, and introduced it to a whole new generation of fans.

The future of psychedelic rock is bright. With so many talented bands currently active, there’s no shortage of great music to enjoy. So put on your dancing shoes, turn up the volume, and let yourself be transported to another world.

The Future of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as simply “psychedelia”, is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the 1960s. Psychedelic rock is characterized by distorted guitars, mind-altering lyrics, and trippy sound effects. The genre is often associated with the use of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD.

The Mainstreaming of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, once the music of the counterculture, is now going mainstream. Major labels are signing psychedelic rock bands, and music festivals are booking them as headliners. How did this happen?

Psychedelic rock began in the 1960s as a way for young people to rebel against the conventions of society. The music was designed to create an altered state of consciousness, usually through the use of mind-altering drugs such as LSD. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were among the first to experiment with this new sound, and it quickly caught on with other young people looking for a way to express their dissatisfaction with the status quo.

By the end of the 1960s, however, psychedelic rock had fallen out of favor with the mainstream. Part of this was due to the negative publicity surrounding drug use, but also because the music had become too experimental and personal for mass appeal. Psychedelic rock bands continued to release albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, but they were largely ignored by the general public.

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in psychedelic rock, driven in part by a new generation of musicians who are inspired by the original bands from the 1960s. These musicians are using modern recording techniques to create sounds that are both familiar and new. As a result, psychedelic rock is once again becoming popular with music fans of all ages.

The Evolution of Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psyrock or psychrock, is a type of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s and was popularized in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The genre is characterized by its use of psychedelic aspects, such as mind-altering drugs, imaginary scenarios, and distorted perceptions of reality.

Psychedelic rock began to decline in popularity in the late 1970s, but experienced a resurgence in the 1990s with the emergence of psychedelic hip hop and neo-psychedelia. Psychedelic rock has also been influential on other genres of music, such as punk rock, metal, and electronica.

The term “psychedelic” is derived from the Greek word ψυχή (psyche), which means “soul” or “mind”, and δέλτος (delos), which means “clear” or “revealing”. Psychedelic music is intended to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. These drugs are often used for their purported ability to induce hallucinations, mystical experiences, and altered states of consciousness.

Psychedelic rock was initially influenced by Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein’s interest in Eastern philosophy and culture, particularly Hinduism and Transcendental Meditation. The Beatles’ song “Tomorrow Never Knows”, which was released on their album Revolver (1966), is often cited as an early example of psychedelic rock. The song includes many elements that would become characteristic of the genre, including sitar drone sounds, backwards tapes loops, and mysticism lyrics.

In 1967, the band Jefferson Airplane released their album Surrealistic Pillow, which featured the song “Somebody to Love”. The song became a hit single and helped to popularize psychedelic rock among mainstream audiences. Other important early recordings in the genre include The Doors’ self-titled debut album (1967), Cream’s album Disraeli Gears (1967), Pink Floyd’s album Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Are You Experienced? (1967), and The Grateful Dead’s Anthem of the Sun (1968).

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, many psychedelic rock bands began to experiment with new sounds and textures by incorporating elements from other genres, such as jazz and world music. This led to the development of what is known as progressive psychedelic rock or acid jazz. Some important recordings from this period include The Moody Blues’ In Search ofthe Lost Chord (1968), Pink Floyd’s A Saucerfulof Secrets (1968)and Atom Heart Mother (1970), King Crimson’s Inthe Courtof King Crimson(1969)and Islands(1971), Yes’ Fragile(1971)and Close tothe Edge(1972), Emerson Lake & Palmer’s Tarkus(1971)and Brain Salad Surgery(1973), Genesis’ Foxtrot(1972)and Selling Englandbythe Pound(1973).

With the decline of psychedelia in the late 1970s, many psychedelic rock bands disbanded or change their musical direction. However, some artists continued to record albums that were clearly influenced bypsychedelia even though they may not have self-identified as such. These albums often incorporated synthesizers and other electronic instruments in an attemptto create a more polished sound than thatof DIY garage bandsfrom earlier eras. Some important examplesof this trend include Roxy Music’s Avalon(1982), Talking Heads’ Remainin Light(1982), Peter Gabriel’s So(1986) Kate Bush’s Houndsof Love(1985). In more recent years therehas been a resurgenceof interestin psychedelicrock with bandssuchas Tame Impala , Kikagaku Moyo , Oh Sees , King Gizzard &the Lizard Wizard , Temples all releasingimportantalbumsin 2018 alone .

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